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Organizational Parkour: the Negotiation Game for Designers

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At IAS09, Matt Milan gave a provocative talk on what he called "Innovation Parkour." Parkour is a way of moving from place to place as efficiently as possible by jumping, vaulting, or climbing around obstacles. His talk was a plea for us to practice our craft so great design can become a reflex in the face of challenge, much as parkour artists view the environment not as a hindrance to their sport but an aid.

I believe the equivalent of the built environment in parkour is less the landscape of the design challenges we face than the structures, process, and culture of the organizations in which we do our work. Yes, design exercises make better designers - however, an IA/UXer who can solve wicked problems but who can't get her organization to implement her solutions needs also to be practicing complimentary disciplines: cultural diagnostics, relationship savvy, and communication and negotiation skills.

Enter Organizational Parkour, a game where IA/UXers can practice these complimentary skills. The game pits teams against each other to complete deliverables, by role-playing and negotiating based on the tenets of Principled Negotiation. Game players are guided on how to use negotiation skills to manage sticky client issues and see great work to completion.

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Organizational Parkour: the Negotiation Game for Designers

  1. 1. Organizational ParkourThe Negotiation Game IA Summit 2013 Joan Vermette Experience Design Director Mad*Pow
  2. 2. What isparkour?
  3. 3. GeorgesHebert“Être fort pourêtre utile.”
  4. 4. Whatparkourlooks like
  5. 5. “Parkour is the attainment of
  6. 6. “Parkour is the attainment of
  7. 7. “Parkour is the attainment ofhuman freedom through the builtenvironment”
  8. 8. “Built environment” = Organizations
  9. 9. Designers don‟t kill designs:
  10. 10. Designers don‟t kill designs:Organizations do
  11. 11. Organizations
  12. 12. Organizations Culture
  13. 13. Organizations Culture Personalities
  14. 14. Organizations Culture Personalities Knowledge
  15. 15. But it‟s all okay…
  16. 16. Because the difference betweenthis…
  17. 17. And this…
  18. 18. Attitude I wouldn‟t worry about it none. It was my own dream and they‟re only in your head…
  19. 19. PracticeYou practice so you can invent.Discipline? No…The joy of practicingleads you to the celebrationof the creation
  20. 20. Game
  21. 21. Role Playing Game Client Role UX Role 1A 1B
  22. 22. Story Game The story of a project
  23. 23. Your parkour park
  24. 24. Negotiation
  25. 25. Principled Negotiation
  26. 26. Principled Negotiation Separate the people from the problem
  27. 27. Principled Negotiation Separate the people from the problem Focus on interests, not positions
  28. 28. Principled Negotiation Separate the people from the problem Focus on interests, not positions Invent multiple options looking for mutual gains before deciding what to do
  29. 29. Principled Negotiation Separate the people from the problem Focus on interests, not positions Invent multiple options looking for mutual gains before deciding what to do Insist that the result be based on some objective standard
  30. 30. Project brief
  31. 31. Project brief Modifying content and adding a new mini-application to an existing web property for a large company
  32. 32. Project brief This is a pet project for the business sponsors - theyve actually been lobbying to add this app to their suite for over two years, and they finally got the funding for it - only to find that they didnt have any in-house resources available to do it.
  33. 33. Project brief Hence theyve hired you - and rather hurriedly - before they lose the funding. Youve been chosen over three other firms - basically on word of mouth recommendations - and now youre engaged to do the work.
  34. 34. Project brief They have visual designers in house wholl apply their (rather strict) brand standards and style guide, and the development team who will build the thing according to their coding standards and on their existing platform. They‟re providing the content, though you‟ll be responsible for microtext in the application.
  35. 35. Statement of Work Upfront research, including  reviewing internal documents  stakeholder interviews  user interviews. Design Studio workshop Wireframe initial key screens Detailed wireframes of all the flows
  36. 36. Project BriefGame Mechanics
  37. 37. Teams Break up into teams of an even number of players
  38. 38. Roles and Turns Break up into roles within teams:  UX role Client UX Role  Client role Role
  39. 39. Roles and Turns Turns should alternate between the UX and Client Role Client roles. UX Role 1
  40. 40. Roles and Turns 2 Turns should alternate between the UX and Client Role Client roles. UX Role 1
  41. 41. Roles and Turns 2 Turns should alternate between the UX and Client Role Client roles. UX Role 1 3
  42. 42. 4Roles and Turns 2 Turns should alternate between the UX and Client Role Client roles. UX Role 1 3
  43. 43. 4Roles and Turns 2 Turns should alternate between the UX and Client Role Client roles. UX Role 1 5 3
  44. 44. 4Roles and Turns 2 6 Turns should alternate between the UX and Client Role Client roles. UX Role 1 5 3
  45. 45. Roles and Turns 6 Turns should alternate between the UX and Client Role Client roles. UX Role 1
  46. 46. The Cards The script of the story is on a deck of cards. Each card is a part of the story in the process of creating a deliverable.
  47. 47. The object: createdeliverables The object of the game is create deliverables by playing cards in order. You can play deliverables out of order within rounds. Some of the cards the team needs are in the clients‟ hands, some are in the UX team‟s hands.
  48. 48. Dealing, drawing, discarding You‟re dealt a hand of cards from your role‟s deck.
  49. 49. Dealing, drawing, discarding The remainder of the cards becomes a draw pile with a discard pile. If you can‟t play a card in order, discard and pick up another from the draw pile. If you can‟t play that, the turn goes to the other role.
  50. 50. NEGOTIATE All of these deliverables have at least one „hurdle‟ – a point of conflict which will require the UX role players to negotiate. You can‟t finish a deliverable without negotiating. You don‟t get points for deliverables you don‟t finish.
  51. 51. Negotiation rules:Tip Cards When the UX Team negotiates, they must do two things:1. Pick up a “Tip Card” and read it aloud to the team.
  52. 52. Negotiation rules:Chips2. Pay your client three chips. The Client team can decide, based on the skill of the negotiator, to pay back some, none, or all of the three chips.
  53. 53. Timing and Game Play The game is in three phases:  Discovery: Deliverables 1 – 4  Research and Design Studio Workshop: Deliverables 5 - 8  Design: Deliverables 9 - 10 We‟ll take 15 minutes per phase – I‟ll time you.
  54. 54. Ready?Let‟s go!
  55. 55. Feedback Was the negotiation hard enough? Too hard? Why? Did you feel engaged enough with the story? What would make you more engaged? Did you recognize the conflicts? What could be done to enhance them? Did the tip cards make sense? Were they helpful? How could the game mechanics be improved?
  56. 56. Photo attributions Cover: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jb-london/8541822833/ Slide 3: http://vigoextreme.es/george-hebert-y-el-metodo-natural-de-cultura-fisica/ Slides 4 - 6: stills from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SMppD-bUNWo Slides 10 - 11: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mtefft/3776069630/ Slide 9, 12 - 15: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zustand/6027929617/ Slides 16 & 17, copyright Joan Vermette, 2004. Slide 19 : http://weheartit.com/entry/44839589 Slide 20: Photo: http://www.htbackdrops.com/v2/albums/userpics/11724/Cecil_Taylor_01.jpg Audio clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rNXvQaBEByg Slide 23: http://www.flickr.com/photos/workandtumble/2547951156/sizes/z/in/photostream/ Slides 24 - 25: http://www.flickr.com/photos/duncan/7700796738/sizes/l/in/photostream/ Slide 26: https://www.etsy.com/listing/91868368/getting-to-yes-negotiating-agreement Slide 38: http://www.flickr.com/photos/64498037@N00/4181289751/sizes/l/in/photostream/ Slide 54: copyright Joan Vermette, 2013.

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